Jarvis Cocker’s Dapper Pulp Style

Jarvis Cocker performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York on April 11.
Photo: Getty Images

Last night marked a momentous occasion in the history of music, and if you were on Twitter or happened to stroll past Radio City Music Hall in NYC, you may have noticed a sea of mostly black-clad misfits freaking out about a band called Pulp. If you’re unfamiliar with the seminal Brit-pop legends that helped define the ’90s music scene (and completely rule my life) nor the band’s enigmatic lead singer, Jarvis Cocker, you best educate yo’self because, like the entire audience at both performances at Radio City, Pulp is soul-bursting on a variety of levels. For one, their hit song, “Common People” is both a hilarious generation-defining anthem and a super fun song to dance to 17 years later. Also, Jarvis himself is witty, fearless, and incredibly dapper. Did I also mention that he’s a consummate performer who not only feuded with Michael Jackson in 1996, when he ran onstage during Jackson’s performance of “Earth Song” and, well, pointed to a certain part of his anatomy to tell the audience what he thought of it, but also fronted the Hogwarts dance band, The Weird Sisters, in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? Yeah. AMAZING. But yet another reason to love Jarvis and Pulp is their enduring style, specifically Jarv-o’s uniform of black-rimmed glasses, a crisp shirt, tie, suit jacket, and ’70s heeled boots.

Jarvis Cocker’s stage style throughout the years, from left to right: 2011, 2006, and 1994.
Photo: Getty Images

The guy is ACES. I know I’m sounding all super-fan right now—and I am—but you don’t see many other male musicians these days dressing like your favorite English professor while quoting Kurt Vonnegut then jumping up into the rafters of Radio City Music Hall to do an impromptu, fully-clothed strip-tease wearing a well-tailored, casual suit. As @lonelyconsonant tweeted, “Jarvis should issue a formal apology to every man in the audience at Pulp tonight for rendering them irrelevant for a solid hour & 1/2.” And like I said, the clothes help make the man. As you can see above left, Jarv is sporting his mildly ’70s suited stage wear with a light beard (very 2012) and insanely well-fitting mid-rise pants that we would buy if they made these for ladies.

This ensemble was very similar to his look in 2006 (middle), which was actually peppered with more corduroy, denim, plaid and a smattering of autumnal color. But back in 1994, Jarvis was one seriously debonaire dude in a double-breasted tweet suit jacket paired with oversize shades, his favorite black pants, and—I swear to you—the very same heeled ’70s boots he’s still wearing today. Despite the shorter hair, the man has stuck with an onstage persona and uniform that continues to work 18 years later—one that remains both classic and modern. Thus, we salute you, kind sir and urge the rest of you to heed the advice of one @JAFlanagan: “If you haven’t driven w[ith the] windows down blasting “Like a Friend” by Pulp, you [really] haven’t lived.”

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